LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You know you're screwed when...
They pass out product T-shirts for the sales conference and you don't get one.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
You mean we're not allowed to carry stuff in our shorts?
Let me see if I understand this. Airport screeners failed to stop a man with explosives from getting on a plane. The man had been ratted-out to the American State Department before he got on the plane. The State Department did not revoke his visa. He was put on a watch list that has no consequences. And now I can't have a blankie, read a book, or go have a pee. Do I have this right?
Question down front: Why don't you morons fix security rather than encourage more people to stop flying? Or is this some sort of clever scheme to destroy the airlines? Men whose fathers rat them out should have their visas revoked until they have an interview with the State Department. People on watch lists, should be watched and given more attention. Oh, and if a baby shows up with a name on a watch list, stop searching his diapers. You just look like a pervert.
Does anyone remember what the point of terrorism is? No? Okay, I'll clue ya. It's to terrorize! When we do the dumb shit stuff that happened right after Christmas, the terrorist doesn't need a bomb that works. He just needs to freak everyone out, we do the rest.
Leave the airports open, take down the metal detectors, and stop frisking Grandma. You government idiots have played right into the terrorists' hands.
Truth is, you might call me a Luddite. I don't run out an buy every new thing that comes out. I used to and ended up with a lot of crap that went nowhere. Crash has my Newton, I think it still works. It never did much, except consume batteries.
It was years before I bought an iPod. I've bought a crapload of audio gear in my day. I still have a 4 track reel to reel machine in my garage with my 8 channel mixing board. I like audio, and have had a lot of fun with it. But the iPod as it came out had no appeal to me. It wasn't until the iPod touch appeared that I stuck a crowbar in my wallet and bought one. The touch is a computer. There are multiple uses. The audio capabilities were almost of secondary concern. Later, I modified the FekMobile so I could connect the touch to the car's amplifier, and now I don't burn audio CDs anymore.
So you might call me a Luddite, but I prefer to think that I've stopped buying products whose value escapes me. This means I buy a lot fewer products. What I am buying is more High Def television content. HD, and BlueRay discs have hit a price point where the lower eyestrain is well worth the money. I describe HD as the same feeling you get after you step out of a very noisy room into near silence. It's like a weight has been lifted. I'm dumping standard definition television as fast as I can.
Then the Kindle came out. A 259 buck device that displays text on a screen. But not just any text. Text that the maker (Amazon) sells you. I just don't see the value. It's a book reader. The books are, many times, not that much cheaper than real books. You have to provide the Kindle as much physical security as a laptop. (Keep an eye out for it so it doesn't get stolen. Don't dump water on it. Don't use it to prop up a monitor that is too low.) In other words, you have to worry about this device. I don't worry about books. In fact, books have been known to get quite a work out by me. I cram them into luggage, dog-ear pages for future reference. Highlight the dirtier passages; rip pages out that I want others to read right now. When I finish a book on vacation, and if the hotel has a library, I often leave the book behind with a note written on the inside cover than I left the book as a gift. That way the library gets bigger, and I don't have to lug the book around.
How do I do any of that on a device I'm afraid to break? On vacation, I want to worry as little as possible. I keep an eye on Mrs. Fek'Lar, my medication, my wallet, and my camera. Just about everything else I have with me can be replaced if lost. Most of the things I take, with the exceptions above, are of trivial value to me. I take my oldest clothing. You know, the underwear with the holes in them, the worn out socks, etc.
The Kindle, and now the Nook, have capacity to contain an entire library of books. OK, so it takes up less shelf space. But you know I'm only going to read one at a time? These days, I'm doing audiobooks in the FekMobile during my commute. I go to the library, borrow the discs, and shove them into my iPod. I've also bought books from Audible. But I'm only listening to one at a time, and have at most three books in the iPod. When I finish one, I can start the next, and if that one sucks, I can go to the third.
When I'm writing software, I tend of have my reference books piled around me. Most are open to particular pages that help me work out the problem I'm working on. If they were in ebook form, I could only glance at one at a time. This just isn't how I work. I've stopped living in a linear form. I bounce from problem to problem in no apparent order when I program, and I bounce from project to project based on my mood, or if I've suddenly had a "eureka" moment. I may be an old fart, but I'm a hell of a multitasker. The Kindle feels far too linear to me.
So why are people buying the Kindle? Is it to sit on the coffee table and impress your friends? There's a danger to that. If they pick it up and the batteries are dead, the jig is up. They'll know you're a phony. At least with a book, you could drag it behind your car for a mile, and it would look so used, people would assume you've read it.
Does the Kindle enhance your reading experience in some way I haven't heard? Perhaps if you're read a Harry Potter novel and you don't know what treacle is you can click on it and be hyperlinked into a dictionary which would tell you that it's sponge pudding in golden syrup? No? Then I just don't get it. If it doesn't solve a problem inherent in books, why buy it? I've prattled on about concerns I have now for nine paragraphs, and still haven't figured out what problem the Kindle is supposed to solve.
Hey Bezos, call me and explain it. Because if I don't get it, I'm not going to get it.
Against all sensible reason, I was having lunch with Trouble. From time to time, he makes sense. Trouble was surmising that as population grows, and automation gets better we will develop a world-wide class of highly educated, yet perpetually unemployed people. As this class grows, our society will migrate more towards socialism, otherwise this class will start a revolution.
As I said, sometimes Trouble makes sense. If you look at the past few layoffs, there were many jobs that were never re-filled after the recovery because businesses discovered that they could boost productivity through software and automated machines.
Now before you dig out your cross and nails, let me say I believe in productivity tools and automation. In the project I'm attached to currently, I've been an advocate of finding processes that require people, and re-building them to be done by computers. It's not because I want anyone to lose their job (well... except Marketing Morons and Executives), it's because some of this work is boring, repetitive, and in my opinion beneath the value of a human. This type of work is better suited for automation because the computer won't start day-dreaming (yet), and won't get carpal-tunnel. Humans should do what humans do best. Dull, boring crap is not what we do best.
Trouble's logic seemed sound to me. Then I thought of a person I know for whom the Republican Party is not conservative enough. He wants the Federal Government to provide for defense, and otherwise get the hell out of his life. What are these people going to do if society gets more and more socialist? Aren't they entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Sure they are, but I don't know where on Earth they will be able to go where there won't be a government bugging them. Hmmm... maybe I just answered the question.
A lot of these folks are the rugged pioneering type. Maybe we should let them do what they do best, like... colonize Mars. No, really! Think of the people who rode the wagon trains across America in the middle of the 19th century. These were people who didn't want a lot from government, and wanted a place to call their own. Maybe we should help the modern-day pioneer.
Let's say you're one of those, rugged outdoorsy, "I Hate All Governments" people. How about we send you on a one-way, all-expenses-paid voyage to the red planet, where you can stake out your piece of the pie, not ever pay taxes again (to an Earth government at least), and have complete independence without all the socialism on Earth. Act now, and we'll thrown in a five year supply of Diet Coke!
If you think about it, this is practical. If we need to expand our real estate holdings to accommodate the population, and to ensure the human species survives the coming over-population DOOM, or a dinosaur-killing asteroid, a Mars colony would be essential. But we shouldn't establish an American Colony, and a Chinese Colony, etc. That's only going to lead to war, first on Mars, and later between Mars and Earth when Mars declares independence. Mars should start independent.
I think this is a win-win! Those who can't stand our civilization won't have to stand it anymore, and we can stop pointing and laughing at Fox News! This is the best idea I've ever had!
Daytime Talker Pursues Dream in Retail Sales
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"You do have to admit, network devices that don't work are very secure!"
"Good God damned luck!"
"My clone is such an asshole!"
"Hey, didn't we lay you off?"
"Yes, I was cheap and easy. But it was the holidays, so it's ok."
I gotta go before the Captain turns on the "No Pissing" sign.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
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